There are many things that happen as you get older.
Some of them aren’t great, some are worth waiting for, and some are downright depressing. For example, when you are a woman of childbearing years and you carry some excess poundage, and you wear loose fitting clothing, some people will ask if you are pregnant. Ahh, nothing makes a woman feel better than when that happens.
One of the great things worth waiting for is that when you are older, no one thinks that, because they know, for sure, that you just eat too much.
And then there are things that happen because you no longer have children in school. Like the Salute to Israel parade. That is what we will be discussing ths week. If you aren’t interested, do the crossword puzzle or turn the page.
If you are from the this area, the SIP (that is what I will be calling the parade for the rest of the column because I am not really sure if it is the Salute to Israel parade, the Israel Day Parade, the Israeli Day parade or, just, the Day the Jews Take Over 5th Avenue Parade). It has always been a thing. I still remember the year that Yavneh Academy had us carrying umbrellas as part of its theme, and my mom wouldn’t let me march because it was raining the day of the parade. But I was going to be carrying an umbrella! Oh well.
Then there was the year that my friends and I held the Frisch Yeshiva High School banner when we were seniors, and we thought we were the coolest humans in the entire world. Or the year that a friend and I volunteered to help at the parade, and we got to wear armbands that let us get through all the barricades. That was pretty awesome.
And then, with God’s help, you become the parents, and your kids become the participants. The first year that Yeshivas Noyam marched in the parade was very exciting for everyone. The boys wore these little berets and were just the most adorable kids. And then, for the next decade or so, off to the parade we all went. The main goal, first and foremost, was to find parking. You haven’t really lived life until you try to find parking, with Husband #1, on the day of the parade. Of course there was one year when we couldn’t find parking on the street and went home. That was a fun car ride. Or the year when we couldn’t remember exactly what street we did park on. Also a fun time.
Husband #1 loved marching with the kids because 1. he got a “free” t-shirt and 2. he thought he was the mayor and would walk behind the Yeshivas Noyam entourage and shake hands and wave to everyone he knew in the crowd. I, on the other hand, would stake out a spot on the street and not move. A few years my dad came with us, one year I gave my chair to a woman whose son worked on the Ellen DeGeneres show (unfortunately, that did not translate to my ever being asked to be on said show, but what can you do), and then, just like every other stage of life, we had no one marching in the parade. Just like that.
Of course now we have Son #2, Dil #2, and Danish living in Israel, but that is a whole other parade…
What is the point of this column? Well, with the passing of time comes new technology. Husband #1 was telling me how his brother was telling him a story about what happened with his kids at the parade. Because of the previously mentioned technology, you can now track where your children are — if they have started marching, where on the route they are, if they have escaped the watchful eyes of all the chaperones and are at a Starbucks somewhere with their friends — how cool it that?
But it takes away the mystery of looking down Fifth Avenue and wondering when the heck your kids’ school is going to make an appearance and how much longer you have to stand out in the cold/heat/humidity/drizzle. Yes, all good times. Maybe next year Husband #1 and I will go back to the parade. But only if I don’t look pregnant…. (See how I tied that all together?)
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck wishes Dil #1 a very happy, healthy birthday and, as a gift, would like to have Strudel move in with her for the rest of the year.